How Long Did It Take To Build The Pyramids (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 to 3 Decades

Pyramids are structures that have triangular surfaces. These surfaces are four in number and converge at a single point at the top of the structure. Speaking in geometric terms, such a structure would be labeled as a pyramid and it is from here that the structure derives its name.

It is a common misconception held by some people that pyramids are structures that can be found in the Nile civilization. Although these structures form an important mark of the Nile Civilization, other civilizations also had impressive monuments in the shape of pyramids. Pyramids are found in Mexico, China, India, and even in Medieval Europe.

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How Long Did It Take To Build The Pyramids?

Name of the PyramidTime Taken To Build It
Great Pyramid of CholulaTwo decades
Red Pyramid10 to 11 years
Great Pyramid of KhufuOne to Two decade
Pyramid of Khafre13 to 17 years
Pyramid of DjoserTwo decades
Buried Pyramid15 to 20 years
Layer PyramidA decade
The Great Pyramid of GizaTwo decades
Pyramid of DjedefreTwo decades
Pyramid of Menkaure18 to 21 years
Pyramid of Djedkare Isesi13 to 18 years

Pyramids though have a roughly similar exterior look, their internal design differs. Moreover, since different pyramids have different factors affecting their construction, every pyramid took a different time to get completed or stand as can be seen today.

Among all the pyramids unearthed to date by archaeologists, the Great Pyramid of Cholula was of the largest volume. It is located in Cholula, Mexico and is even regarded by some historians as larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza. Archaeologists believe that the Great Pyramid of Cholula took about two decades to get completed

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest pyramids and is also the oldest among the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is tracked down in the Giza pyramid complex in Greater Cairo, Egypt and it also took nearly two decades to get completed.

Apart from these, there are numerous prominent pyramids around the globe, particularly in the Giza pyramid complex. Pyramid of Khafre, Pyramid of Menkaure and Great Pyramid of Khufu are certain prominent on in this list.

Why Building Pyramids Takes So Long?

The building of pyramids is a process complex in itself. It comprises building thick triangular walls and joining them at one point like a cone at the top of the structure. This process is an architectural marvel in its own right and thus, consumes a large amount of time.

The main reason which led to large construction time requirements was the lack of development in the field of science and technology. The work which would take decades to complete then may now take only a few years. There were no proper equipment and labour was the main resource used unlike in today’s time when machines are a prominent construction resource.

The workers at those construction sites used the prevalent methods for the building of those giant pyramids. This certainly consumed a lot of additional time.

Another important reason why it took so long to build pyramids was the constant floods in the landscape. When the Nile irrigated agricultural lands of Egypt faced floods, the farmers used to become builders in these pyramid construction sites. As a result, the farmers who were not very well versed with building techniques took more time leading to a time-consuming construction process.


The construction of pyramids would take up two to three decades or nearly fifteen to twenty-five years. Some world famous pyramids like the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Great Pyramid of Giza took approximately twenty years to get completed and be in the shape as can be seen now.

A basic reason for the long time requirements for the construction of the pyramids was the lack of development in science and technology. Builders used contemporary methods of construction which were time-consuming. In contrast, constructing a pyramid-sized structure in today’s world would take only a few years.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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